Think Josh Beckett misses the American League right about now? Over there, pitchers don't have to do all of those annoying little baseball things like swing a bat or run the bases. As we've already seen in interleague play this season, Beckett is clearly not a big fan of doing either.
But now that he's been traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers, he kind of has to do those things, and to his credit, he actually put a little effort into it during their 2-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Thursday night. In fact, in the third inning, Beckett smoked one through the right side of the infield against Lance Lynn. Beckett really put a professional looking swing on this ball and drove it impressively to the opposite field.
Unfortunately, it didn't go for a base hit because Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran was playing way in on Beckett and has a really, really strong arm. Once Beltran picked the ball up after two very tidy hops that allowed his momentum to take him towards first base, he unleashed a perfect strike that nabbed the pitcher by one full step for the rare 9-3 putout.
I don't think we can say Beckett wasn't hustling on the play, as he appears to leave the batter's box with urgency and gave his best effort about 88 feet up the line.
We just can't accuse him of being a speed demon, either, and I think the reality that he was about to be retired in that manner is what caused him to ease on the brake on the last couple steps.
But maybe I'm just being kind.
Either way, I'm sure many others won't be so kind, and I'm sure those on the East Coast — particularly those in the Northeast — waking up to this highlight will get quite a chuckle out of it.
Sorry, Josh, you're not the first and you're certainly not the last player to suffer this baseball indignity. Just try to hit it a little softer next time and you should be fine.